In 1989, I was 20 years old and contemplating opening a non-alcoholic nightclub. While I had been a successful DJ and built a fairly loyal following, I wasn’t sure I was ready to take such a leap of faith… and that big of a risk.

One afternoon, I met my golf coach for a lesson. I wasn’t hitting the ball particularly well (and still don’t) but, that day, my hacks were causing concern. He asked what was on my mind and I told him about the club. He then asked what I was doing for money to which I replied, “Waiting tables, DJ’ing, pumping gas, and doing whatever was needed to make ends meet.”

He paused for a moment and said, “Look man, if things don’t work out with the club, you can always go back to pumping gas.” Now, I’ve had thousands of conversations and millions of sentences (some of them not so nice) hurled my way over the years, but these words really hit home. And, he was so right.

No matter where you are in life, you can absolutely go farther. And, if push comes to shove, you can always regroup and take a step backwards without shame, fear, or sense of failure.

I did go on to open the club (The Funky Pickle! — don’t ask…) and, at first, we were wildly successful. Over time, we hit our bumps in the road and, eventually, I parted ways with my business partner.

But that one conversation helped bring a simple idea to fruition. Though I doubt he has any recollection of our talk, it affected the trajectory of my life.

You see, I truly believe that one person has the power to change the world… and, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that person is YOU. Be cognizant of what you say and how you say it. The right word in the right ear at the right time can make all the difference.